In the previous installments I discussed the broad athletic mind set needed to truly progress to ones goals in a successful and sane way. Followed with the further installments covering my first successful trip into this empowering mind set. In this part, I will document my downfall, the mistakes I made, and will hopefully allow you all to skip these, or to realize you, yourself are in the midst of such a downfall.
To recap, I had made a miraculous transition. I found the internal self drive needed, the clear simple steps to follow and steam rolled to dramatic changes through hard work that felt effortless and fun despite the hard work due to the my focus not on the end result, but the enjoyment of the daily actions, the way I felt, performed and in turn as a byproduct looked. All was merry in the world... I was walking round high on the collective Hog. Nothing could get me down and THEN...
Maybe it was the few negative things a that happened in my life at the time, more possibly it was having ridden out my clear goals for over a year and never setting a new one substantial tangible goal. What ever it was, I fell, and I fell hard. I got bitten by the drastic broad needless goal bug that is simply, I wanna get "ripped." A goal with no end in sight, no clear ending and no real steps, just a broad undefined end goal.
Lets get "ripped."
Yes I succeeded certainly, I got ripped. I went down from, if you remember, from an initial 300+lbs on a 6'1" frame to 215 and pretty jacked. Now I would go from that old pinnacle a down right gorgeous man beast to 165 lbs on the same large frame. I was now in the very low single digit fat percentiles.
The health and life problems hit. My body got to the point it wasn't able to heat itself. I sustained this low BF long enough to create now permanent health issues with various hormones out of kilter, receded gums, beat up knees, and joints. Not to mention the psychological damage to that man who had just months ago been fearless, doubtless, and could do anything. I was no in one fell swoop, half the man I was prior.
All this from simply slipping into an exercisers mind set.
Concentration on the pain and deprivation as opposed to there progress and positive. Picking at minutia instead of the big picture of simply being consistent at the basics.
I went from great progress, largely running blind and ignorant but on belief in myself and what I was doing, to turning the tables and contacting and reading everything I could to the point of not hobby, not fun, but a stressful obsession. I was picking the minutia and identifying to closely with the broad goal I wanted to reach instead of that of what it takes to reach said goals.
It can happen to the best of us at any time, and it does constantly. As an athlete you have to keep a constant eye out for the path of least resistance top try and slip in and derail you. You have to keep perspective on the progress and day and not the impending outcome. If you're too busy, focused on what you want to be you will never be or do what you have to today to reach that end game
In the next installment I will detail the mistakes I made, the problems they caused, and hopefully how you can avoid the same or make you way out of the abyss that is an exercises / pain based mind set.
Phillip Stevens, BFA, MFA;
Director of Operations, Staley Training Systems
About The Author
Phil, while attaining both his Bachelors and Masters degrees in studio art found another passion, that of training and nutrition. A constant student, his real-world under-the-barbell and behind-the-fork approach has led to many an opportunity, experience, and change in his life as well as those he has worked.
Phil currently, aside from his varied work with Team Staley, is a working and showing artist ([http://www.philstevens.com]). His current personal fitness goals are to become a competitive force as middleweight strongman competitor, while building upon his power lifting experience in which he has seen as high as a top ten national ranking; with a two year goal of obtaining an elite ranking as a 242 or 275lb weight class RAW power lifter.
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